I have expressed my love for hummus, especially homemade hummus in the past. It such a versatile thing - a sauce, a dip, a spread, a dressing....as well as being a great vehicle for your favourite spices and vegetables. It can be sweet or savoury, high in fat or low in fat, a great source of plant based protein and fibre.
Yesterday, I deconstructed hummus and used the components to enrich a cauliflower soup, with results that really impressed! It tasted, dare I say it, cheesy, despite the fact that there was no dairy or cheese flavoured ingredients. But maybe I've just forgotten what cheese tastes like, I've not had it much since the time I inadvertently ate a non-vegetarian Camembert...I felt so bad when I realised.
Cauliflower has been tipped to be the new kale, it's versatility dubbing it the vegetable of the year. In this crazy world of blogging, it being eaten raw, roasted, pureed, juiced, replacing pulses and grains, in pizza crusts, and mashed as 'potatos'. So, I bought a cauliflower on the weekend and thanks to all this inspiration, I have a few recipes/experiments up my sleeve, so watch this space. It's a particularly good vegetable to get in at this time of year, being rich in vitamin C it'll ward of those nasty colds.
However, I felt bad for kale being shoved out of the spotlight, so kale still has its part to play in today's recipe. Instead of blending it into the creaminess of the soup, allowing shreds of steamed kale to peep through throughout the bowl gave an interesting change in texture, and allowed each spoonful to vary in terms of creamy/cheesy/kale-y flavours.
I don't typically get to eat a hot lunch these days as I can't leave the shop floor to cook, so I rely on savoury muffins, stuffed pittas and cold millet/noodle/quinoa bowls. But with James able to mind the shop, I was able to cook some soup for yesterday's lunch!
The recipe is below :-)
Catch up again later in the week!
Hummus-inspired cauliflower soup (serves 1)
1/4 head of cauliflower - include some leaves and roughly chop
1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas
300-400ml of vegetable stock - depends on how thick/thin you like your soup
The juice from 1/4 lemon
1 handful shredded kale
Sprinkle of paprika
Heat the stock on a medium heat and add the cauliflower and chickpeas. If you are pushed for time, part-cook the cauliflower in the microwave before adding to the hot stock with the chickpeas.
After 5 minutes (or when cauliflower is softened) use a (hand)blender to blend the soup into a creamy texture. If it is a little watery at this stage, that's ok.
Steam (or microwave) the kale until it is as cooked as you like it.
Add the tahini, lemon juice and a pinch of ground paprika to the soup and stir continually until it thickens to your preferred consistency. Try not to let it boil.
Add your cooked kale to the soup to gently incorporate it, and ensure it is all completely warmed through.
Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with a little more paprika or chilli flakes if you like it spicy!